Last month, we brought you Cai Guo-Qiang's explosive artwork that used gunpowder to burn images onto huge canvas sheets. Guo-Qiang's exhibit at the Los Angeles Museum for Contemporary Art opened this week and how else could it appropriately launch than without a bang?
The Huffington Post reported 40,000 mini-rockets attached to a wall and about 100 "hovering fireworks," or "pyrotechnic UFOs," created his latest installation -- Mystery Circle -- to his project Sky Ladder.
Watch the blinding explosion for yourself:
How was that? Now imagine being there for the countdown and ignition. The LA Times reports that the general worry of the evening was "Wait -- he’s shooting the fireworks at us?" Given that the fireworks were attached to a vertical wall and they generally shoot up from where they stand, it was a valid concern. When the rockets were lit, the Times reports spectators were not only dazzled by the light and massive booms but could also feel the heat, even at their safe distance off to the side. The Times states that most of the crowd "went wild" but some seemed to "duck and cover":
“I think I pulled a muscle,” said one, straightening up after the explosion nearly toppled her. “It looked like a firework was about to hit me in the face!”
Here's a video taken by one of the spectators:
Even Guo-Qiang told the Times he would have never imagined when he first started doing art 30 years ago that he'd be using so many explosives for one piece. Guo-Qiang is no stranger to fireworks though. In 2008, he orchestrated the visual effects for the opening and closing ceremonies of the summer Olympics in Beijing.